|Home : Volume 23 : Fall 1996 :|
|Distinguished Service Award for Surakhuang Asavanich|
Since his days at UW-Madison, where Surakhuang Asavanich earned a PhD in civil engineering (1978), he has founded and co-founded 19 companies, seven of which he has also managed. These companies range in scope from engineering consultation to property development.
Prior to continuing his graduate studies in the U.S. and after receiving a BS in mechanical engineering with honors from Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, Thailand, Asavanich worked for Thailand's department of aviation. He then went to work for Italthai Industrial Co., Ltd., a leading construction company. Within six years he became technical manager.
In 1980, when Thailand's economic development was in high gear, Asavanich co-founded a joint-venture company, Thai Sumiden Engineering and Construction Co., Ltd. As founder and vice executive chairman, he was completely responsible for the construction of the first 500 KV extra high-voltage transmission line (EHVL) in Thailand.
At present, four lines are complete and are considered to be the backbone of the country's power transmission system. In all, more than 45,000 kms of conductors have been installed. His company was also first in installing the optical-fiber composite overhead ground wire (OPGW), which enables the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand to effectively monitor, control and communicate with all substations throughout the country. In addition, Asavanich was also responsible for designing and installing telephone and fiber-optic networks serving more than 200,000 customers. More importantly, by organizing training facilities for the professional development of his staff, he is ensuring the dependable supply of knowledge and experience that is essential to the long-term development of Thailand.
Asavanich enjoys reading, swimming, jogging and golf. He and his wife,
Achara, have two sons, Pitch and Picha.
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